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I bought a cheap Android handset for development and it is an exclusive to a particular network.

I would like to unlock it so I can use an existing SIM card from another network. I've done some googling and it appears that there are many services online where you can get a code from supplying your IMEI number.

Firstly, can anyone elaborate on what the unlocking process involves, and secondly, is there any application that can do this process, or are you forced to pay someone to generate a code for you?

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Specifying the carrier you are trying to unlock from may help. Its not absolutely necessary to answer the question but it may help. –  Matt Nov 2 '10 at 18:00
    
I know that T-mobile will unlock your phone after x days of service. support.t-mobile.com/doc/tm51885.xml –  Bryan Denny Nov 2 '10 at 18:00
    
It's an orange pay as you go San Francisco handset. Thanks –  user155695 Nov 2 '10 at 18:54
    
There are also device-specific methods. The Galaxy S has the unlock code stored on the device, for example. –  Matthew Read Dec 17 '10 at 21:35
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3 Answers

The Rooting method for the T-Mobile G2 / HTC Desire Z unlocks the SIM lock on the modem, but this is device specific.

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Actually, for just about any HTC device, obtaining S-off removes the network lock. The S flag is basically the master control for all "security", not just the bootloader. –  Compro01 Apr 3 '13 at 14:11
    
-1, like the OP pointed out this dated Nov 2nd 2010 It's an orange pay as you go San Francisco handset. Thanks –  t0mm13b Aug 10 '13 at 21:37
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To unlock you phone for free you can root it. But it is at your own risk. I found this guide but don't know if it works for you.

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-1, the OP pointed out this - It's an orange pay as you go San Francisco handset. Thanks –  t0mm13b Aug 10 '13 at 21:36
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Orange San Francisco aka Zte Blade, the popular handset among the ROM modders, head over to Modaco's thread to get the unlock code generator, it is free, simple to use.

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